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Rail News: Mechanical

Texas port takes wraps off repowered switcher

The Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, recently inaugurated a repowered locomotive primarily used to switch rail cars at its dry bulk terminal.

Repowering the 120-ton switcher involved replacing one 1,000-horsepower engine with two 700-horsepower engines, effectively boosting the locomotive's power capacity to 1,400 horsepower, port officials said in a prepared statement. The repowered unit will reduce particulate matter emissions by 65 percent, hydrocarbon emissions by 54 percent and nitrous oxide emissions by 49 percent, they said.

The Pollution Prevention Partnership, a community outreach initiative at  Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, worked with the port to perform emissions testing on the locomotive before and after the repowering work, which was completed by R.J. Corman Railpower.

The project was financed by a $1 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant and 25 percent matching funds from the Port Authority of Corpus Christi.

"Environmental sustainability is part of our daily operations," said John LaRue, the port's executive director. "The implementation of new technology to reduce emissions provides the support the port needs for sustainable business growth."

The port is served by BNSF Railway Co., Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific Railroad.


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